Continuous network monitoring has the ability to extend far beyond your office walls. And, even if your business isn’t in a regulated industry like banking or healthcare, it needs a way to ensure the confidentiality and security of private assets and sensitive customer information. To get the most from your IT security plan, you need real-time data, that can be accessed across all devices including laptops and mobile phones.
What is Continuous Network Monitoring?
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in its Special Publication 800-137 offers the following definition:
Information security continuous monitoring (ISCM) is defined as maintaining ongoing awareness of information security, vulnerabilities, and threats to support organizational risk management decisions.
Continuous network monitoring supports all six major tenants of NIST’s Risk Management Framework:
- Categorizing information systems
- Selecting security controls
- Implementing security controls
- Assessing security controls
- Authorizing information systems
- Monitoring security controls
With continuous network monitoring, security personnel and consultants receive near–real-time data about the state of an organization’s IT security and risks—everything from the corporate network to human resources data to endpoint devices such as desktops, laptops, and mobile phones. With such timely information, the organization can limit its vulnerabilities and react quickly to any security breach.
Do I Need Continuous Network Monitoring if I’m in the Cloud?
More and more businesses are moving their IT services and applications to the cloud. Like it or not, the cloud is part of conducting business even if you haven’t moved your entire infrastructure to a cloud-based service. That’s why it’s critical to keep your cloud services provider (CSP) top of mind as you develop your ISCM program. According to a 2011 SANS Institute white paper, the Cloud Security Alliance “advises organizations to monitor and evaluate cloud chain of dependency, which involves mapping risks in connection with application program interfaces (APIs) and controlling any potentially security-related risks that could turn out to be severe. It also advises implementing a systematic vulnerability scanning and mitigation program for CSP systems and networks, a systematic configuration control program for CSP systems and networks, and continuously monitoring for data protection and unauthorized activities in the cloud.”
Even if your business uses the public cloud, your CSP is responsible for monitoring log and other data. Be sure you read and understand your CSP’s policies on security and continuous monitoring. If you run a small business, keeping up with IT security protocols can be a daunting task. Fortunately, the cloud computing experts at All Phases IT can help you wade through the information and apply what is necessary to protect your assets. Contact us today for assistance with cloud-based services and answers to your continuous monitoring questions.